Search found 2764 matches

by Rupert
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A half year at full pay or a full year at half pay?
Replies: 49
Views: 4490

Re: A half year off at full pay or a full year off at half pay?

I cannot believe that a percentage of the money I send to my kid's college is being given to professors who are "taking a year off with half-pay and full benefits". You're getting some kickback on this line of thinking, for many reasons. At a straightforward level, it is part of a compensation pack...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car accident - was directed to sign release
Replies: 50
Views: 2750

Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim. You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick u...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self pay vs insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 720

Re: Self pay vs insurance

Hi, We currently have HSA insurance with $5685/11370 deductible plan. I was wondering if it would be cheaper to pay for most medical expense as self pay (without submitting to insurance) ? If so, can the expenses still be submitted to insurance so it counts toward the deducible? Thanks No, if you s...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 AND UTMA
Replies: 29
Views: 1295

Re: 529 AND UTMA

There are many downsides to UTMA accounts. (1) The money placed in an UTMA is treated as a completed gift to the beneficiary. Custodians have no control over how the funds are used. (2) The beneficiary gains full access to UTMA funds at a specified age, usually 18-21, whether or not he/she is mature...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on managing healthcare costs
Replies: 21
Views: 786

Re: Advice on managing healthcare costs

OP, in another post you characterized yourself as a contractor. You may get better answers if you clarify your employment status, as that status (W2 employee or otherwise) may impact the options available to you.
by Rupert
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a reasonably priced, safe international destination
Replies: 93
Views: 4765

Re: Looking for a reasonably priced, safe international destination

Scotland would seem a magical place to small children, I think. Make a big deal out of the Loch Ness monster and head up to the north from Edinburgh looking for Nessie. The Netherlands is the most kid-friendly place I've ever been, and nearly everyone speaks English there. Germany is also kid friend...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early Childhood Learning Programs for grades 1-2
Replies: 4
Views: 270

Re: Early Childhood Learning Programs for grades 1-2

My kids liked ABCmouse.com at that age.
by Rupert
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help with 529: Save for College vs Pay for Private School
Replies: 14
Views: 843

Re: Help with 529: Save for College vs Pay for Private School

As others have said probably a good idea to take a wait and see on this before making any specific plans or actions. Not clear what all the states will do. One article I read (WSJ maybe?) had a few 529 administrators worried about the change tilting 529s so much to the "rich" that there could very ...
by Rupert
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help with 529: Save for College vs Pay for Private School
Replies: 14
Views: 843

Re: Help with 529: Save for College vs Pay for Private School

There is no guarantee that your state will amend its laws/plan to permit deductible contributions and tax-free distributions for K-12 tuition expenses. And, yes (before you ask, because everyone does), states get to make their own rules re how 529 contributions and distributions will be taxed at th...
by Rupert
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: where does one buy "health insurance" in the USA?
Replies: 17
Views: 1056

Re: where does one buy "health insurance" in the USA?

There's nothing simple and easy about healthcare in this country, and that's not entirely the fault of the ACA. It was complicated before the ACA existed. Does your company offer COBRA? If so, why don't you investigate that option for your wife, which would give you some time following your retireme...
by Rupert
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help with 529: Save for College vs Pay for Private School
Replies: 14
Views: 843

Re: Help with 529: Save for College vs Pay for Private School

There is no primer as the K-12 provisions are brand new. Having been on the books for only a few weeks, the IRS and states have not had time to chime in with regulatory/statutory changes. There is no guarantee that your state will amend its laws/plan to permit deductible contributions and tax-free d...
by Rupert
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 529 rules -- One state plan's response
Replies: 12
Views: 979

Re: New 529 rules -- One state plan's response

IANAL, but this reads, and I have read elsewhere, that the limitation to payment for TUITION applies only to the new elementary or secondary provision. Not aware that the policy for post-secondary expenses has changed. Yes, the entire paragraph is about the new K-12 provisions. Distributions for hi...
by Rupert
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 529 rules -- One state plan's response
Replies: 12
Views: 979

New 529 rules -- One state plan's response

So there's been a lot of questions here lately about the new 529 plan rules permitting distributions for K-12 "expenses for tuition." I was reviewing my kids' plans this morning and saw this statement on the plan website: "Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), ha...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strong Nearsighted Glasses - Tips Requested
Replies: 10
Views: 588

Re: Strong Nearsighted Glasses - Tips Requested

Plastic frames are the way to go. I don't think it matters if they're round or square or oval. A tortoiseshell frame is good because the gold/brown pattern somehow helps disguise the thickness of the lens.
by Rupert
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Almost a pathological fear of debt, to my detriment?
Replies: 79
Views: 4268

Re: Almost a pathological fear of debt, to my detriment?

There's no reason for you to change your perspective so long as you aren't depriving yourself and your loved ones of things you need (and things you want, within reason) just in order to avoid debt. If you're living in an unsafe dump and driving an unsafe car just to avoid debt, that's a problem.
by Rupert
Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underwater 4-5k in vehicle.
Replies: 29
Views: 1661

Re: Underwater 4-5k in vehicle.

Isn't everybody (with a car loan) underwater the moment they leave the dealership parking lot ? No. Some people finance the purchase in order to get a better price on the car. They make a large down payment and pay the note off in a month. Paying cash usually doesn't get you a better price these da...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Raising Bogleheads
Replies: 1
Views: 288

Re: Raising Bogleheads

I just talk out loud about financial decisions I'm making and why I'm making them. When I notice something -- an ad or action -- that strikes me as financially unwise or perhaps fraudulent, I point it out. I explain taxes when I'm doing my taxes each year. I explain the need to save for retirement a...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unusual Will/Probate Situation
Replies: 16
Views: 1187

Re: Unusual Will/Probate Situation

Some points about the Alabama probate process, especially in rural counties: Probate judges do not have to be lawyers, and many aren't. The probate judge is more likely to appoint a friend of his to be executor, as opposed to a bank. If not a local resident, you are likely to get "home cooked," a le...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1395

Re: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?

How about non-school education related expenses. For example, if the students go to public school but are enrolled in private programs such as kumon, etc. (weekly classes, for example) can those fees be covered by the 529 funds? The relevant language in the statute is: ‘‘(A) expenses for tuition in...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with what to do with drafty fireplace
Replies: 26
Views: 1272

Re: Help with what to do with drafty fireplace

The cheapest and most efficient thing to do is to seal it and not use it. For ambiance, stick a tv in front of the fireplace and stream a video of a fire. :) Also check your home owners insurance for any sticky bits about wood heat and fireplaces. This may be a little dull but...how do you seal it?...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim
Replies: 43
Views: 3183

Re: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim

Why would you trust information on federalpay.org, which is not affiliated with the government at all? Call Social Security and ask if it's legit.
by Rupert
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youtube/Netflix/Browser in Car Dash
Replies: 14
Views: 926

Re: Youtube/Netflix/Browser in Car Dash

That is a horrible idea. Recently, I was driving my kids home from dinner out and we got behind a car at a red light that was literally broadcasting pornography to the world via a large screen attached to his dashboard. You don't want this to become standard in cars. The OP specified that this shou...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youtube/Netflix/Browser in Car Dash
Replies: 14
Views: 926

Re: Youtube/Netflix/Browser in Car Dash

That is a horrible idea. Recently, I was driving my kids home from dinner out and we got behind a car at a red light that was literally broadcasting pornography to the world via a large screen attached to the dashboard. You don't want this to become standard in cars. It's important to remember with ...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it a bad idea to have TIPs in Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 975

Re: Is it a bad idea to have TIPs in Roth IRA?

The rule of thumb, for what it's worth, is to hold your investments with the most growth potential in your Roth because that growth will never be taxed. For that reason, I only hold stock funds in my Roth and would only hold bonds there if there were no acceptable bond funds in my employer-sponsore...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increase mortgage payment
Replies: 6
Views: 1017

Re: Increase mortgage payment

Research re-casting a mortgage. That may be an alternative for you.
by Rupert
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it a bad idea to have TIPs in Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 975

Re: Is it a bad idea to have TIPs in Roth IRA?

A more important decision is whether or how much to have in any kind of bonds in the Roth. That decision goes along with what all your other investments are. Just curious... what factors would you use to make this decision? The OP seemed to take this statement, combined with the general lack of ent...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maybe not a win for teachers/I need some advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2730

Re: Maybe not a win for teachers/I need some advice

I am sure Aspire is a decent company, and I understand they need to make money too. My complaint is with my district not allowing us to invest directly with Vanguard/Fidelity. Why would I want to pay those extra fees if I don't have to? On $100,000 that is $640 in fees, crazy in my opinion. I think...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 529 Plan Rules
Replies: 22
Views: 2087

Re: New 529 Plan Rules

It’s my understanding that up to $10,000 per year from a 529 account can be applied to qualified K-12 expenses. Let’s say that a child has two separate 529 plans. One started by a father and the other started by a mother. The child will attend private school (K-12) and the tuition is $20,000 per ye...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 529 Plan Rules
Replies: 22
Views: 2087

Re: New 529 Plan Rules

The fact that people are quoting sections of bills that never became law is support for the conclusion that you should wait for new IRS guidance (regulations) before acting on this matter. The media is doing the same thing. There's a lot of bad information and conjecture out there.
by Rupert
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?
Replies: 72
Views: 4486

Re: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?

I'm wondering how the Maintenance Minder in the vehicle actually works. Does it actually "measure" the condition of the oil in some way, or is it just set on some sort of computerized algorithm? It doesn't measure the oil in any way, there's an algorithm that is supposed to calculate the lifetime b...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?
Replies: 72
Views: 4486

Re: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?

We just purchased a new 2017 Honda CR-V. Pay attention to the interval for the transmission fluid change (and rear end fluid if you have AWD) as well. If you change your own oil, you can easily change your own trans fluid on a CRV. Only part of the transmission fluid comes out when it is drained, a...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 for Summer Camp
Replies: 4
Views: 403

Re: 529 for Summer Camp

I think the new tax law has people losing their minds over 529 plans. Research whether you could have used Coverdell funds to pay for summer camp.
by Rupert
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teeth Whitening
Replies: 23
Views: 2606

Re: Teeth Whitening

Just know if you have any dental work on your front teeth, those fillings/crowns will not whiten. Yep, my dentist warned me about this. So-called "dead" teeth, i.e., teeth suffering from pulp death, also will not whiten. I notice lots of people with these at the front, usually caused by some fall o...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 529 Plan Rules
Replies: 22
Views: 2087

Re: New 529 Plan Rules

There is a definition for purposes of Coverdell accounts. There is also a definition for what counts as "dependent care" vs. what counts as school, i.e., you can pay for daycare and extended care but not school using dependent care account funds. It's not yet clear which definition will apply for pu...
by Rupert
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?
Replies: 72
Views: 4486

Re: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?

The choice is not between the dealer and Jiffy Lube. Oil changes are simple. Find an honest independent and you will be fine. I’m guessing about $45 if you want Mobil 1. JT Do you actually know anyone that will do a full synthetic change with filter for $45? I suspected my Mazda dealer was being eg...
by Rupert
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teeth Whitening
Replies: 23
Views: 2606

Re: Teeth Whitening

My dentist told me that Crest Whitestrips work as well or better than any whitening procedure they do in her office.
by Rupert
Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Splitting Assets in Divorce
Replies: 51
Views: 4978

Re: Splitting Assets in Divorce

Wife and I get along extremely well as friends (but she decided she wants something different and I feel the same way). Both of us are only interested in splitting things fairly and neither one of us is contentious in nature. We believe we can split fairly on our own. She seems indifferent as to wh...
by Rupert
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to browse specifically for homes with "mother-in-law suite"?
Replies: 29
Views: 1813

Re: How to browse specifically for homes with "mother-in-law suite"?

Can’t imagine that would be a popular search Actually, in my area, houses with in-law suites sell faster than any other residential segment these days. Cities all over the country are re-thinking zoning laws that prohibit homeowners from adding structures to lots that would accommodate aging relati...
by Rupert
Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1395

Re: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?

How about non-school education related expenses. For example, if the students go to public school but are enrolled in private programs such as kumon, etc. (weekly classes, for example) can those fees be covered by the 529 funds? The relevant language in the statute is: ‘‘(A) expenses for tuition in...
by Rupert
Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1395

Re: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?

How about non-school education related expenses. For example, if the students go to public school but are enrolled in private programs such as kumon, etc. (weekly classes, for example) can those fees be covered by the 529 funds? The relevant language in the statute is: ‘‘(A) expenses for tuition in...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1395

Re: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?

‘(7) TREATMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY TUITION.—Any reference in this subsection to the term ‘qualified higher education expense’ shall include a reference to— ‘‘(A) expenses for tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious scho...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1395

Re: Can we use a 529 plan to pay for tuition for daycare and PreK programs ?

My understanding is that the new tax law permits 529 distributions for K-12 tuition expenses. I don't think (and haven't read) anything indicating that pre-K tuition expenses qualify. You may have to wait for the IRS to issue regulations to be 100% sure.
by Rupert
Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401K Loan vs Line of Credit vs Emergency Fund
Replies: 6
Views: 501

Re: 401K Loan vs Line of Credit vs Emergency Fund

Use the emergency fund. If another emergency happens while your emergency fund is depleted, then consider a 401k loan or a line of credit.
by Rupert
Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much life insurance?
Replies: 8
Views: 489

Re: How much life insurance?

A rule of thumb, which may or may not apply to you, is that you each purchase 10-20X annual income. You don't just want enough to pay off the mortgage. You want enough to enable your survivors to continue living their present lifestyle at least until your children are launched. Take into account tha...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a car?
Replies: 27
Views: 2819

Re: Buying a car?

Just out of curiosity, I checked Carmax.com for their inventory of sub-10K cars. In my region at least, you can't get a Honda or Toyota for that price at Carmax unless the car has 100K+ miles on it and/or (usually and) the car is more than 10 years old. I did see a Mazda3, a Volvo S60 (which I thoug...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Legal services via employment
Replies: 13
Views: 905

Re: Legal services via employment

Before signing up, investigate whether a prenup would be included in the package you are buying. There are prior BH posts about these services, including one where lots of people griped that they signed up to get wills drafted but then learned that the sorts of wills they needed (defined by the serv...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ID theft and check cashing fraud
Replies: 87
Views: 4464

Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the police were civil servants, whose sworn duty it is to enforce the law. I don't recall any mention of ROI in their job description. There's nothing in their job description that says they have to visit the home of everybody who reports a crime, eithe...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 asset allocation
Replies: 14
Views: 634

Re: 529 asset allocation

I'm sure there is a backstory to this, but will the $10K withdrawals be for qualified college expenses? The backstory is that the new tax law allows you to withdraw up to 10K/year for K-12 private school tuition. Personally, I would mentally divide the funds into buckets: one bucket for true colleg...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for Homeowner's Insurance
Replies: 6
Views: 385

Re: Shopping for Homeowner's Insurance

Is 600K the insured value or the market value? They're different. Could be that rebuilding costs have increased in your region. Could be that your insurance company is overextended in your region and trying to dump some policies. Or could be that there were just lots of claims in your region over th...
by Rupert
Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529's or Taxable?
Replies: 10
Views: 794

Re: 529's or Taxable?

Also note that right now states still require the funds only be used for college expenses. I'm not sure what you mean by this. A state does not have any dictation to the federal government about the fact that on your federal return you can now exclude gains in 529 accounts that are used for K-12 ex...